Some of these questions include:
- How fast should I get links to my website?
- How many links should I build each week or each month?
- Does Google penalize me for building these links very fast?
- Will Google not rank me for building these links too slowly?
The answer to these questions will be thoroughly examined in this article. Let’s get started.
The normal link building rate is ”Natural”
“Natural” in the sense that the ideal scenario would mean that some visitor found your website, either through search engines or other sources, read your content, and liked it, so they linked to it.
The implication, of course, is that not all visitors will link to you. So this figure can be a bit small. If you have a very successful website that does not use any type of SEO services, such as link building, then you will notice that it earns only a few organic links from unique domains each month.
Below is some sample data from successful websites (with no link building services from SEO companies):
You will notice that one website is getting 4 links per month from unique domains. And at least one website is getting one link each month. The average of the above data is around 2 links per month.
These websites do not have ranking or traffic-related problems. I’ve just presented the data to show that getting links to a website does not need to involve a massive amount of work each month in order to produce positive results in ranking. The key is to be as natural as possible.
The second thing to keep in mind about link building is that quality beats quantity. In Google, organic links are editorial links — that is, links that come from within the content part of the page. These are quality links that will have a positive impact on your rankings. The growth of editorial links to your website depends on how aggressive your website is in delivering content.
Keep in mind that if you are publishing a lot of quality content daily, then the rate at which visitors can view your content is higher than a website that is stagnant and does not add or update its content.
In this scenario, you can expect a higher amount of editorial links. Good examples of sites that receive a lot of editorial links are news websites, such as huffingtonpost.com and foxnews.com.
Forums also are constantly updated, as well as blogs, so you can expect a larger amount of readers, which can relate to a higher amount of editorial links earned per month.
Slow and fast link acquisition can’t hurt
A natural link profile is either fast or slow, because it is supported by natural occurring events.
Good examples are websites generating a high amount of buzz, such as Wikileaks. Consider what happened when Julian Assange released confidential and secret documents to his Wikileaks website. It generated massive buzz, which also generated a large number of links to his website.
A slow profile for link acquisition is okay, too. For example, you can’t expect academic websites to generate as much buzz as Wikileaks, but they will attract at least a few links each month from other readers in the academic field.
So to answer these questions: “How fast should I get links to my website?” “What seems to be an acceptable number of links to build each month?” Remember that if you’re building a large number of links to your website, that high amount of links earned must be supported; there must be some reason behind it. A good approach would be to generate buzz from your website. There are a lot of cool ways to do this:
- Publishing controversial or viral content - A good example is Wikileaks. Publishing secret stories from the government will certainly generate a lot of buzz.
- Viral videos about something - A war video leak, for example, or a rare footage of a Russian brown bear fighting with a Siberian tiger. Make sure you own it, and that it’s real. Fake viral videos can get you nowhere, and copied videos can lead you to infringement issues.
- Viral photos – These have been proven effective, but make sure they’re legal. Some paparazzi websites do this, and they earn a lot of links from this, especially if a prominent public figure is caught doing something wild on camera.
Some webmasters actively build links. But it looks bad to build a massive amount of links to a website that is not updated at all or has little content on it.
If you check the back links to Wikileaks.org or Wikileaks.ch, you will be surprised at the high number of links generated in a short amount of time.
Well, it is reasonable. It is not only the buzz, but Wikileaks has released 250,000 confidential documents. http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wikileaks-releases-250000-documents/story-e6frg12c-1225962560990
Now that’s a lot of content that journalists, news agencies, writers and news websites from all over the world can dig into more deeply to find content to discuss.
Let’s go back to your website. Are you updating and adding content? If yes, then it’s fine and natural also that the link profile to your website will grow over time. You will have readers, and these readers will keep watching your content as you add it to your website. Some of these may be subscribing to your feeds, so that they will know right away when you are publishing new content, even if they are not visiting your website.
You can visualize an acceptable and natural scenario in which the connection between content and link building is illustrated by the graph below:
This means that the rate at which you’ll acquire links is mostly slower than the rate at which you add content to your website. This is reasonable, because it is much easier to write content than to get links.
So as time passes, some of your content can generate a buzz and will earn links. It is questionable if your website is suddenly earning links without generating a buzz or reflecting something that is happening in your website. If you have viral content, it can act as a trigger, but as time passes it will become old news and people will find it uninteresting to link to. This means you should kept updating your website if you are interested in increasing your links.
This is where some SEO companies can made a mistake. They are only interested in making money, offering links to their clients; they forget to emphasize that links and content building should be related.
Even some SEO companies now find it easier to build links than to write content, which is bad. This is because they will automate link submission to article-based websites and directories, which of course is not “natural” if you care about quality links and its relationship to content.
Stay away from link building services or SEOs that are interested only in getting links to your website, but no recommending further improvements in the quality and quantity of your website content.
They might not have the expertise in your niche, but SEOs can recommend the best practices in writing content, such as use of keywords in title tag, or in your content. They can also select which keywords to target, especially if you are aiming for long tail traffic.
If you are an SEO and you are asked how many links one should build per week or per month, the correct answer is that it depends on how the website is generating buzz. A popular website is expected to get a high number of links per week or per month. A relatively unknown website, or a stagnant website that does not update its content, is expected to earn only a very few links per month, or even none.
Crossing beyond this border, you are developing an artificial link profile, which of course is not beneficial to your client.
If you are interested in getting links for a new website, you need to consistently create and write great content. Create viral content that can generate buzz from your community, then get help from a reputable SEO to market this content. SEOs can use link baiting techniques that can put your content in front of a lot of readers, which will then attract links.